Wednesday, March 31

hops a'growin'

Rain here, mixed with a light scattering of heavy snowflakes and the occasional bird wafted by on the strong wind. A pair of mockingbirds populate the backyard at the moment, eating a little bit of the old crusty loaf we scattered. Flooding water is filling low bits in the lawn, and the top to the nyjer thistle feeder is threatening to pop off. Again.

I'm a moment away from brewing a pot of tea, getting into some comfy pants, and heading up to my studio to turn on the space heater ~ but I just wanted to let you know the hops are sprouting. They mean spring. They mean cloudless days, deep blue skies, and yards and yards of succulent sticky vines, climbing to our second-story window. They mean homebrewed beer, made by my brother-in-law and avidly watched over by Tim, and sipped at most family get-togethers. This is made more interesting by the fact that we used popsicle sticks to label our 5 (7?) types of hops, and the names quickly washed off the first year, so the flavors are...mysterious. I don't even drink beer but I like to bandy with words like "hoppy," "full-bodied," and "nutty," (Is this someone I know?) and enjoy seeing the magic that the brother-in-law makes with some jars, tubing, gases and fermentation. He's like a clever mad scientist. He even made mead once.

Now, that might give me an excuse to keep bees. And I don't even drink mead...